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Textbooks, a source of United States history.....well sort of.

When I started taking this class, I didn’t really know much about the women’s movement, or about women’s history for that matter. I never really gave much thought to why I knew so little about this topic. I guess I just looked at this class as an opportunity, which I was excited about, to learn more about the women’s movement and women’s history. Now, after reading “The Big Lie? and “Why Fixing the Media Should Be on the Feminist Agenda?, I have a little different opinion on the fact that I haven’t learned much about feminism until this class. I have changed from, excited to learn more but ignorant when I started, to eager still to learn more but upset that I knew so little to start with.

When I think about whom it is that gets to decide things like what goes into the news reports on television and in the newspapers, I guess the answer is actually somewhat obvious. The big shots of the news corporations are the ones who ultimately have the say of what is reported and what is not. I realize this and at the same time I remember reading that the majority of the executives in companies are males. This sparked me to recall that there is a lack of support for the feminist movement from males, which ultimately means that there is going to be little reported on the feminist movement.

Another huge source of our knowledge is from the textbooks that we use. We’ve been learning out of some sort of textbook since elementary school. These books generally have male authors, and furthermore the books we were using back then were most likely published 10-20 years ago. This concerns me because I think that feminism was probably even less accepted by males back then, which means that the books would have even less information about the women’s movement than the ones written now. When I try to think back to what I learned in elementary school and in junior high history class, the only woman I can recall learning about was Anne Hutchinson. The reason that I remember her so well is because when I was learning about her, back in eight grade, I remember thinking about how cool it was that we were actually learning about a woman for once. The lack of emphasis on women’s history in the textbooks that I used while growing up is probably one of the main reasons that I have reached the age of twenty with pretty much no idea what feminism is.

All in all the media has a huge influence on what people are exposed to every single day. I think the thing that I learned most from reading these articles and thinking about the sources I learn from is that I need to be very skeptical. I also need to find more information, even though it may not be so easy to get to, if I really want to get a well-rounded education on women’s history and what is going on today.

Comments

I agree with your ideas on what should be included in our history books! The reason why so many people are ignorant about the feminist movement is because we are not exposed to the facts early on in our academic careers. Great entry!